When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to become oblivious to the changes going on throughout your body. Sure, you may pick up What to Expect When You’re Expecting and skim through the slew of parenting sites, but you have a lot on your mind and learning whether or not your vagina smells differently during pregnancy isn’t a priority. That being said, equipping yourself with enough knowledge about your ever-changing body will help you avoid any major shocks over the next nine months. Particularly when it comes to what happens to your vagina changes during pregnancy.
I, for one, avoided learning anything about my pregnancy anatomy and didn’t bother to read about the changes my vagina would endure. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I was terrified. I knew my hoo-ha could potentially stretch to accommodate a human being, and that tidbit was enough to scare the proverbial sh*t out of me. But it turns out, there’s a lot more that goes on down there than I thought — and it’s pretty important too. If you’d rather stay in the dark than that’s OK, but if you want to know what to expect, here are nine ways your vagina changes when you’re pregnant.
1. It Has a New Scent
It doesn’t seem fair that a heightened sense of smell is a pregnancy symptom along with a not-so-pleasant change in your vag’s scent, but that’s the way the world works. Miriam Greene, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Langone Medical Center told Fit Pregnancy that the, “enhanced blood supply alters the pH balance,” of your vagina, resulting in a doughy, gluey scent down there.
2. It Tastes Different
If your partner hasn’t spoken up, this change can go unnoticed, but it’s there. Your vagina’s pH balance doesn’t just affect the smell of your lady parts, but the taste as well. An article in The Journal of Perinatal Education noted that a pregnant woman’s vagina had more of a metallic or salty taste.
3. It Gives Off More Discharge
If you thought vaginal fluids would wait until delivery to show up, you’re sorely mistaken. As the American Pregnancy Association notes, the abundance of pregnancy hormones stimulate your mucous membranes to produce leukorrhea. Although annoying, this thin, milky white discharge actually helps your vagina maintain a healthy bacteria balance, keeping you free from infections.
4. You Have An Increased Risk Of UTIs
Keep that cranberry juice handy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your pregnant body is at risk for more UTIs than normal. As your uterus grows, the pressure it places on your bladder not only makes you need to pee all day long, but can prohibit your bladder from fully draining and leave you at risk for a UTI.
5. It’s A Little More Sensitive
What to Expect explains that, as the blood flow increases in your body, your vulva can become engorged and more sensitive. Hence why your pregnancy orgasms might be more intense than usual.
6. You’ll Spot Some Varicose Veins
You’ll need a hand mirror to check out this change. According to MayoClinic, pregnant woman may notice varicose veins on the vulva. This occurs because of the increased blood volume flows slower than normal from your lower body, putting pressure on your veins.
7. You Have An Increased Risk For Yeast Infections
According to the Centers for Disease Control, yeast infections affect nearly 75 percent of women, and pregnant women are most susceptible to them. Why? According to the American Pregnancy Association, the hormonal changes can cause your vagina’s pH balance to change and make it easy for a yeast infection to take over.
8. It Changes Color
If you or your partner notice that your labia and vulva are a little blue, don’t panic. According to the Mayo Clinic, the darkening of your skin is totally normal during pregnancy, even down south, thanks to increased blood flow and the pregnancy hormones affecting your pigmentation. Luckily, your vagina should return to it’s normal shade once your baby is born.
9. You'll See More Ingrown Hairs
According to the American Pregnancy Association, many people assume an abundance of ingrown hairs is the result in extra estrogen, which they say makes your hair grow faster. In reality, your body produces more sweat during pregnancy, meaning pores clog more than normal and your pubic hairs get caught in the cross fires, according to Parents. So get ready for a little painful hair pulling in the next few months.